Some time ago, I started writing this blog about my flight over to Scotland, (called 'Flight to Scotland... Part 1. Genius title, I know. You can find it here somewhere if you'd like all this to make some sense). Following that, there was 2 weeks of sleep deprivation during the actual festival, followed by the madness of Melburne Fringe Festival, followed by a bit of sleep, followed by me just flat out forgetting about it. So here's Part 2. Just in case you need closure.
Food service on international flights is like Christmas - it keeps coming, so you keep eating. You can't help but adopt an 'if you're making one' attitude, even when you're absolutely stuffed (a la Christmas!). "Coffee? Oh. Yes. Ok. I have just had second breakfast, juice, water, 2 coffees and a hot chocolate. But I will have a coffee, sure. IF YOU'RE MAKING ONE. And they always are making one!
And just like at Christmas, you feel an obligation to eat everything on your plate. Yes, you will eat that white chocolate mousse, even though you're on the verge of vomiting, because apart from the fact that you didn't have to make it, you don't have to wash the dishes, and you're in 'Well... it is Christmas...' mode, a tiny irrational part of you sincerely believes that you just paid $1000.00 for it. Yes, part of you doesn't really believe that any of your airfare is going towards aircraft maintenance, wages, taxes, or any other of the myriad of expenses involved in international air travel, but instead to the production of one geometrically perfect, but miniature, white chocolate mousse. And if you believe you just paid $1000 for a chocolate mousse, you're going to eat it!
Although the pretend food on Pretend British Airways (Qantas), is pretty good, some people just can't be pleased. Take the lady who was sitting in front of me, for example. Please. She is, apparently, 'gluten intolerant', and was not happy with any of the cereal choices Pretend British Airways had on offer. I just can't tolerate this type of intolerance. Why must people be so bloody difficult? Finally, the only authentically gay (and thank god for him) flight attendant brings out something she can have. But will she have milk with it? Noooooo! Of course not. She's lactose intolerant, isn't she? So she eats the dry cereal without any milk. Honestly, why don't you just bring your own bag of chaff and be done with it, love? Would it kill you to have a little lactose and gluten once in a while if it made others' lives a bit easier? Probably. Fussy bitch. I'm not that choosey about such things myself. There's nothing I like better than a big bowl of gluten with lactose, sucrose, and fructose first thing in the morning.
Here's a brief but handy travel tip for you. When flying, you will be tempted to pull the oxygen mask down for the purpose of putting the cup on your head and rocking out to 'Whip it', a la Devo, circa 1983. Try not to. The cabin crew really frown upon it, for some reason.
Watching other passengers kind of fascinates me, and you do meet some nice people when you're flying. I was seated next to two extremely attractive young girls on the first leg of the flight. They were travelling to Hong Kong 'for business as toy buyers'. I am not saying they were high end prostitutes at all. In fact the toy girls may be just that, because neither of them apparently had any need to go the toilet at all the entire time. From Melbourne to Hong Kong. There are many coffees and other drinks between Melbourne and Hong Kong, I can tell you! What the hell, Toy Girls? Do you have catheters in? Needless to say, I had the window seat, and pretty much just held on to it rather than disturb the sleep of the apparently heavily sedated toy girls with super duper bladders.
Note to self: do not choose window seat again, for obvious reasons. Although I learnt a useful skill from a guy sitting next to me on another part of the journey, who was an acrobat. And this is the skill of delicately climbing barefoot over the top of other passengers using only the armrests, (much like Spiderman), without any embarrassment at all, in order to go to the toilet or have a stretch without disturbing other passengers. I am now great at this. I also sat next to a young Chinese guy who told me he was studying for his Masters in Economics. GO ON!
If you tire of watching people, there are always movies to watch, and I swear to god, if I haven't seen 'Good Will Hunting' on every flight I've ever taken over the last 20 years, I will go cook something! I did also watch a fascinating documentary on the plane, called 'Hidden Hard Boiled Eggs, Crouching Chinese Grandmother, Pissed Off Flight Attendant!' Oh hang on, that wasn't a film. That actually happened. Seriously. There was this tiny, wizened, Chinese lady, who was very ancient, maybe about 150. She looked like those dolls they make out of dried up apples - to scale, even! She was so old, you really couldn't tell what her gender was, if not for her pierced ears. I figured dudes probably did not pierce both ears 150 years ago, so she must be a woman.
Anyway, she was travelling with her son and daughter in law, who were each possibly about 100 themselves. After eating everything on offer, Chinese Grandmother San appears to be telling her son that she is still hungry. How is this possible? Where the hell is she putting this food? Her dutiful son reaches into a bag, and pulls out, without a word of a lie, about 20 hard boiled eggs, which he, his wife, and Cool Hand Luke Grandmother San proceed to peel and eat with relish (you know I don't mean they had some relish with them, right?). Chinese Grandmother San personally eats about ten of these. Ten! How the hell did the Chinese Egg Eaters manage to get that many hard boiled eggs on the plane? I have no idea, and it seemed the irate flight attendant was asking the same question, as she demanded the family put the mountain of eggshells in a rubbish bag she'd brought. Hard boiled eggs and a close environment with little oxygen are not a good combination, she seemd to be telling them. Chinese Grandmother San's expression didn't change at all. It's quite possible that she's so old, she can't change her expression. She could die,and you would not know. It wouldn't be from malnutrition though! I know what you're thinking. This would have made a great episode of 'Border Security'. It so would have too. This little relic would make a great mule.
The great thing about flying is that you get your little bags of goodies. Presents for the kids? Sorted. Hey guys - I know you wanted i-pods, but look what I got you! Some tiny toothbrushes, special sleeping masks, and matching socks! But wait - there's more! A tiny packet of Mentos, some sort of Chinese cake, and a packet of raisins! I know. They were speechless.
When the plane finally arrived in Edinburgh, it was pitch black. Then I remembered to take my sleeping mask off. Strangely, I didn't actually write about Edinburgh itself. I really didn't sleep much the entire time I was there, so it's all a blur. I'm told it was great, though. And now we have closure.